The Black Church has produced some of the greatest preachers, leaders and teachers. Beginning this month, BlackandChristian.com will begin an ongoing series to introduce you to past and present, "Prophets In the Pulpit."
Rev. D. E. King
Internationally recognized as the "storyteller-preacher", Rev. Dr. D.E. King was born on a farm of unpromising beginnings. The deceased native of LaGrange, Tennessee, use to pray as a child, "the that country would go out of style." His prayers were answered when his mother moved the family to the city of Memphis, where he was divinely called and licensed. The evangelist and author is a graduate of LeMoyne College, Howard University Graduate School of Religion and Divinity School. Dr. King's pastorates include churches in Paducah and Louisville, Kentucky, respectively, New York, and finally, Monumental Baptist Church of Chicago. Extensively involved with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sr., during the civil rights era, he served as executive board member of SCLC and Operation PUSH.
Dr. King authored two books, Preaching To Preachers and Christ's Use of Unusables. Other writings include messages in the Upper Room Disciplines, The Worker, Worship In the Black Church, Going Public With One's Faith, Best Black Sermons, Outstanding Black Sermons and Fruit From The Vine. Dr. King served for one year as editor of the Progressive Baptist Hymnal, composing five songs, including: "Let Me Share This Joy With You." Two highlights of his career included preaching missions for the Soviet Baptists in the Soviet Union and the Baptist World Alliance in Rio de Janeiro. He taught and served as minister and instructor of Social Sciences at Alabama State A & M College, and as adjunct professor at Southern Baptist and Northern Baptist Seminaries. He also conducted lecture series at Bishop College, Morehouse School of Religion, South Eastern and American Baptist Theological Seminaries, and others.
Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
Pastor, preacher, politician are words used to describe the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, who pastored the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. Born in 1908, Powell graduated from Colgate University, attended Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, graduating in 1931. In 1937, he took over the helm of Abyssinian from his father, the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.
Powell's preaching mixed politics with the need to improve the lives of people of African descent. His story is told in two books he wrote: Against The Tide and Adam By Adam. Several books about Powell have been written including King of the Cats by Roy Haygood and Adam Clayton Powell by Charles Hamilton.
In 1941, Powell was elected the first black New York City Councilman, where his strong advocacy for civil rights was seen and heard. Powell always fought for better conditions for African Americans. In 1945, he was elected to the United States Congress from New York's Harlem community, a position he held until 1971.Powell's influence as a leader in Congress extended to his chairmanship of the Education and Labor Committee. Through his leadership, many social programs such as Head Start, Federal Aid for Education, increase in minimum wages, hot lunch programs for underprivileged children and other antipoverty programs, were enacted.
Powell died in 1972. His funeral eulogy was preached by the Rev. Samuel D. Proctor.